Canon and MindMe International forge partnership to Empower Kenyan Youth through Creative Storytelling

Canon Central and North Africa (, a global leader in imaging solutions, is pleased to announce a transformative partnership with MindMe International (MMI), a registered NGO based in Kenya. This collaboration aims to empower marginalized communities through sustainable development, with a focus on fostering positive change in young individuals’ lives. 

Central to this collaboration is the shared objective of transforming young participants into effective storytellers. The programme’s structured approach includes providing access to equipment, teaching photography skills, showcasing examples and case studies, and guiding participants to tell their stories authentically. Upon completion of the programme, participants will be awarded certificates by Canon, to acknowledge their dedication and accomplishments.  

“Canon is proud to partner with MindMe International on this impactful initiative, empowering young individuals to become creative storytellers who can authentically represent their communities. Through the Young People Programme, we aim to provide these young talents with the tools and skills needed to make a lasting impact in their communities and beyond,” says Jeanine El Moughrabi, Developing Regions Sustainability Manager

The programme, officially commenced on 8 February 2024, and kicked off with an introductory event on 1 February. MindMe International, dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty through localized development, will work hand in hand with Canon to run a three-month initiative targeting young people between 11 and 17 years. The workshops are being held at Woodcreek School in Kiambu County, Kenya, with 20 participants.  

An integral part of the collaboration is the commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the Young People Programme (YPP), Canon and MindMe International envision empowering the youth to amplify the SDGs through their narratives. The aim is not only to equip young individuals with practical skills but also to inspire them to become advocates for positive change in their respective communities. 

With the initiative running for three months, it allows for the outcomes to be accurately monitored to evaluate the programme’s success and impact. The program comprises 12 workshops scheduled every Thursday, that commenced on February 8th and will conclude on May 30th, along with the utilization of Canon EOS 4000D cameras.

The culmination of the initiative will be marked by an engaging exhibition showcasing the creative images produced by the young participants. This exhibition will provide a platform for the youth to express themselves creatively and share their unique perspectives on sustainability and community development. Local suppliers in Kenya will be involved in printing toolkits and resource materials for the exhibition, contributing to a positive economic ripple effect and promoting environmental sustainability.  

This collaboration builds on the success stories of similar initiatives, such as Kgaugelo Neville Ngomane, a participant in the Young People Programme South Africa, who won the CIWEMs International Young Environmental Photographer of the Year Award. This partnership is poised to create more success stories, scholarships, jobs, and internships for the young participants, emphasizing the potential for meaningful impact.  

Carol Kiiru, Director-MindMe International: “MindMe International envisions a world where sustainable development is accessible to all, breaking the chains of extreme poverty. Through our collaboration with Canon in the YPP, we strive to empower marginalized youth, aligned in our Education and Youth (Arts and Digital empowerment) programmes providing them with the tools to tell their stories and advocate for positive change. By fostering creativity, skills, and community engagement, we are aligning with the SDGs and shaping a future where every voice, regardless of background, contributes to building a society free from inequality and poverty.”  

Through this partnership, Canon and MindMe International send a powerful message about the significance of empowering young people to be agents of positive change in their communities. Young voices, when equipped with the right skills and platforms, can inspire, and drive social change. In addition, the collaboration serves as an outstanding example of how private and non-profit sectors can work together to contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future.  

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